The Classic 3-2-1 Margarita


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The Classic 3-2-1 Margarita

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Ingredients (7)

  • Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1 thin lime wedge
  • Ice
  • 1 1/2 ounces silver (blanco), 100 percent agave tequila
  • 1 ounce triple sec orange liqueur, preferably Luxardo Triplum or Cointreau
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 lime)
  • 1 very thin lime slice, for garnish


An easy way to remember how to mix a classic margarita is to memorize the ratio 3-2-1: three parts tequila, two parts good triple sec (like Luxardo Triplum, Cointreau, or Combier), and one part lime juice. Serve it on the rocks with salt, as pictured, or serve it up in a chilled glass. If you like your margaritas on the sour side, try our Perfect Margarita. Mixing for a party? Check out our Pitcher-Perfect Margarita for how to please a crowd. And for those times when you crave a good old frozen margarita, mix up a batch of Strawberry Margaritas.

What to buy: Make sure to use a good-tasting triple sec (we like Luxardo Triplum—for a primer, see Jordan Mackay’s “Something Orange”).

Watch the CHOW Test Kitchen’s Christine Gallary demonstrate how to make this simple margarita recipe in an episode of our Easiest Way video series.


  1. 1Pour enough salt on a small plate to cover it.
  2. 2Rub the lime wedge on the outside rim of a 4-ounce cocktail glass. Holding the glass at a 45-degree angle, dip the outside rim in the salt, rotating as you do, so the entire rim is coated with salt. (Avoid getting any salt inside the glass.) Fill the glass with ice and place it in the freezer to chill.
  3. 3Add the tequila, triple sec, and lime juice to a cocktail shaker and fill the shaker halfway with ice. Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker turns frosty. Strain the margarita into the chilled glass and garnish with a lime slice.
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